Located in the Auckland Domain in the center of the city, the Winter Garden is offers two huge greenhouses filled with plants and a giant fernery. One of the greenhouses is devoted to tropical plants, the other to plants of temperate zones. The finery has a fine collection of plants native to New Zealand and the surrounding areas.
The Auckland Domain is a large park and worth a visit on its own with walking trails, shade trees, duck ponds and places to enjoy the scenery.
The entrance to the Winter Garden is marked by a large brick wall.
Herbaceous borders greet the visitor.
The greenhouse featuring plants of temperate zones is called the Cool House and was build in 1921. It has a lovely old world charm and is packed with plants all artfully arranged.
I expected to see flowers and foliage, of course, but was delighted to find lots of vegetables included; plants bearing mature eggplants were especially well done.
The eggplants were paired with blooming annuals and perennials to make great combinations like these purple ones with pink petunias and purple leafed foliage plants.
Here’s a combination that contrasted texture while creating a color echo.
Eggplants were not the only vegetable to be used decoratively. Ornamental peppers played a role too.
Two different kinds of peppers formed this display with purple leafed, and variagated trailers and pink geraniums in the background.
Other eye-catching combinations included amaranthus and impatients,
A collection of orchids made up a large display.
This one being one of the most unusual.
A large courtyard connected the Cool House to the Tropical House with the Fernery going off on one side.
A curved pergola ran around the side.
A large clump of pitcher plants grew in one moist area.
A pool of lotuses and water lilies greeted us at the entrance into the Tropical House.
In the pond we could see the new Victoria water lily leaves coming to the surface to unfurl.
Above the pool hung the exotic looking tropical pitcher plants.
The beds in the Tropical House were filled with all kinds of unique plants including Jack fruit, the largest tree-borne fruit.
More familiar, and much beloved, was the chenille plant,
And this giant staghorn fern.
A collection of tropical orchids enhanced a small area.
Our big disappointment was the hole left by the titan arum, a plant with a flower that produces a rotting-flesh stench to attract pollinators. The sign and an empty pot were all that remained as the plant was probably dormant.
Entrance to the Fernery is through a gateway in the curved pergola in the courtyard between the two greenhouses.
A path leads you through the lush vegetation.
The focus is on ferns native to New Zealand but some of these can be found in other parts of the world as well.
Some ferns, however, are indigenous to New Zealand.
FERN NATIVE TO NZ ALONE
In one area is a stand of tree ferns.
A Nikau tree, the most southerly growing palm, reaches up to the sky. Its leaves were used by the Maori for huts and baskets.
A bamboo orchid, indigenous to New Zealand grows as an epiphyte on a bark mounting.
Moss covers the rocks that edge the paths and here and there small ornaments rest on tripods.
After a good walk through the greenhouses and fernery you can stroll over and enjoy refreshments and the rose garden of the Winter Garden Pavilion.